Bill Introduced to Strengthen Protections for Domestic Abuse Survivors Who Were Victims of Strangulation

HARRISBURG – Legislation, sponsored by Rep. Torren Ecker (R-Adams/Cumberland), to ensure that the offense of strangulation is as fully incorporated into the commonwealth’s body of laws as other similarly violent and threatening offenses has formally been introduced.

Ecker noted that strangulation was added to the Crimes Code as a primary offense in 2016.

He believes this legislation, which is a reintroduction of last session’s House Bill 2437, is necessary to ensure that a prior strangulation conviction will also be recognized and considered upon the occurrence of subsequent related events and judicial procedures.

Specifically, House Bill 854 will amend section 9714 of the Judicial Code, section 6711 of the Domestic Relations Code, and sections 5702 and 2709.1 of the Crimes Code by adding the offense to a list of applicable “crimes of violence.”

“This legislation is critically important, especially in domestic violence situations,” said Ecker.

“We now have evidence that shows that 10 percent of violent deaths of women in the United States can be attributed to strangulation, 47 percent of female domestic violence victims report being choked, and nearly half of all domestic violence homicide victims had previously experienced at least one episode of attempted strangulation.

“If your daughter ever faced this kind of disgusting intimidation and violence, you would want the perpetrator to face the fullest extent of the law. I’m proud to be fighting for these victims.”

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